June Episode Spotlight

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Episodes in the Spotlight:

A Conversation about Food and Community with On the Pass Host, Gabriel Ornelas

Listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get podcasts

Gabriel Ornelas is the host of the podcast "On the Pass," where he has conversations with industry leaders in food, beverage, and hospitality. He describes “On The Pass” as “100% a passion project.” He joined the Taking Inventory podcast, with James and Daniel, to share his story of tarting the podcast, building the community, and why this is such a passion for him. Gabriel delves into a variety of topics, including a new perspective on the rising cost of dining out and the evolving role of restaurants for experience and community.

We’re eating with our eyes every minute of everyday… I highlight individuals who I believe are making a positive impact in their communities in the world.

Gabriel talks about the growing loneliness epidemic and how restaurants play such a pivotal role in curbing this trend. He also shares ways that larger brands can become part of the conversation and actually help increase the development of community and interconnectedness.

Let’s think about the profound effect that restaurants, bars & coffee shops have on a community. They are community centers that bring people together. That is priceless in a lot of ways. We need these individuals to be a viable business.

The conversation covers a lot of ground, but one of the topics important to Gabriel is how food culture has shifted from being something exclusive to something for everyone – whether an expense account meal or a casual night out solo. He reminds of the quote from Disney’s Ratatouille, "Anyone can cook." This underpins the entire conversation: food is something to be shared, to be enjoyed, and for community to be built around.

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Check out some of our other recent episodes you don’t want to miss!

Nik Milanovic, founder of “This Week in Fintech” and The Fintech Fund, on current trends and the future of Fintech

“That stage of Fintech. Got really hot a couple years ago. one-fifth of Fintech companies were being built in 2021”

3 things to know:

  • Fintech exploded without a clear consensus about what it is: "Nobody agrees on one answer.” The industry has evolved in a short period, rising rapidly in the 2021 and now the industry faces challenges and setbacks as markets normalize.

  • Companies were overfunded and overpromised, but ultimately failed to deliver. They "weren't able to pull the rabbit out of the hat.” Founders have typically responded in one of two ways: leave the company or make hard choices to refine the business model.

  • The biggest opportunity in Fintech is international in underbanked and underdeveloped countries. The US and EU are mature financial markets and highly regulated, making it more difficult to create a unicorn business.

Turner Novak, Founder of Banana Capital, talks VC investing and the power of meme accounts

“In 2022, investing paused as everyone in the market was trying to figure out how much everything was worth.“

3 things to know:

  • Turner shares practical tips and initial steps for investing, emphasizing that it's possible to start even with a small amount of money by focusing on low-cost index funds, setting up automatic contributions, and leveraging fractional shares.

  • Investment strategies for Banana Capital shifted dramatically between 2021 and 2022 as markets changed. He highlights the on-the-fly adjustments he made to adapt to the new market conditions..

  • When it comes to investing Turner believes in quality over quantity. He also prioritizes founders at the earliest stages and believes in a semi-hands-on approach, where he supports founders with key decisions and guidance while not interfering with the day-to-day business operations.

Snap’s President of Americas, Patrick Harris, from Meta to Snapchat and the changes driving its breakout

“I knew how 13-24 year olds we have 90% percentage in 25 countries around the world. The user base is sticky, that 13 year old is now 26 buying their first home. Over 50% of the user audience is over 25+.”

3 things to know:

  • Patrick left Meta after more than a decade to join Snap. As a leader he believed “that it was time to pass the baton to some of the other leaders who [I thought] could do a much better job than I could and take it to the next level.”

  • Consumers are looking for more creative, fun, and playful experiences and they’re willing to pay for that. That’s a big reason that Snapchat+ is now over 9M subscribers.

  • Snap’s improved advertising is a result of investments in its ad tech, strengthening its relationship with advertisers and agencies, and its expanded partnerships focused on delivering more value and outcomes.

Why the App Economy is Booming with the President of AppsFlyer, Brian Quinn.

“In 2019 the average time spent in an app in the US was 3 hours a day, and now that is over 5 hours a day…a lot of the behaviors and habits that developed during Covid have remained.”

3 things to know:

  • There are more than 5.7M consumer apps and people spend 5+ hours every day using apps.

  • Global ATT opt-in rates are on the rise, up 10% YoY showing a willingness of consumers to consent to sharing data.

  • Mobile companies have figured out how to operate without identifiers, so cookie deprecation is going to lead to more investment and growth in mobile.

Interested in who the next guest is for Taking Inventory?

Tune in this coming Monday, July 1st as Adam Greenberg joins to talk about his role at Blank Street Coffee and their 25 million Series A funding round. He also shares about his journey from Warby Parker and Ro and gives insights about the legal and public policy work that goes on behind the scenes.

Thank you for all your support!

We appreciate you and everything you do to support us like reading, subscribing, listening, sharing, and so much more! We hope you enjoyed Taking Inventory and hope to see you again for our next newsletter in July!

Wishing you all the best and have an amazing weekend.